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Record heatwave strikes - 120º degrees in South Dakota

Anonymous Coward
User ID: 115036
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07/17/2006 11:13 AM
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Record heatwave strikes - 120º degrees in South Dakota
Record heatwave strikes
By Andrew Gorder, Journal Staff Writer
RAPID CITY -- Temperatures exceeding 100 degrees Saturday broke and tied all-time records throughout South Dakota.

The National Weather Service in Rapid City received reports of 120 degree temperatures in Usta in the northwest corner of the state, but the reports had not been officially confirmed by Saturday evening. If the reports are accurate, the temperature would tie the state record for high temperatures set in Gann Valley in 1936.

NWS meteorologist Jeff Johnson in Rapid City said temperatures reached 111 degrees at Rapid City Regional Airport, beating the previous record of 110 degrees set in 1989 and 1973.

Temperatures in downtown Rapid City missed the all-time record of 107 by one degree, Johnson said.

There were also record highs of 116 in Philip and 111 in Interior, and The Associated Press reported 115 degree temperatures in Pierre, 114 degrees in Mobridge and 108 in Mitchell.

"There were a few places where we didn't quite reach triple digits, but pretty much all of the prairie areas east river were well above the 100 degree mark," Johnson said.

Johnson said the sweltering temperatures and high winds will increase the already high level of fire danger. "We will still be at 'red flag' conditions tomorrow," Johnson said. "We probably won't see a cool down until the end of next week, so we still have several days of hot, dry weather ahead of us."

Although many opted to spend Saturday inside with the air-conditioner, the extreme temperatures did not deter thousands of people from attending the Hills Alive Christian music festival held in Memorial Park in Rapid City.

"I'm sure that there are some people that stayed away because of the heat, but I also know that people know what happens at this festival, and they'll come out to see the artists that they want to see," said Suzanne Happs, program director for KLMP radio and volunteer organizer at the festival.

Happs said about 30,000 people attended the festival in 108-degree heat last year, and they were hoping for more people at this year's event.

"It's been a progression," Happs said. "We had 22,000 the year before last, 30,000 last year, even in the stifling heat. We're hoping that it just keeps growing."

"It's going to take hotter temps than this to keep me away," Susan Keller of Chamberlain said.

Younger attendees opted to skip the music and cool off in Memorial Lake, and about 25 children chose to swim in the park's water fountain.

Despite the crowd's overall enthusiasm, the heat did take its toll on a few of the spectators.

Dr. Jeffrey Buckau, who was voluntarily manning the festival's first-aid tent, said they had at least four heat-related incidents on Saturday.

The most significant was a woman suffering from heat stroke. "Her temperature was going up, her blood pressure was dropping, her pulse rate was going up and she was throwing up," Buckau said.

Buckau was working with volunteer EMTs to treat patients suffering from the heat.

With only the slightest dip in temperatures in the forecast, Buckau recommended that those attending the festival today stay out of the sun, keep physical activity to a minimum and drink plenty of water.

[link to www.rapidcityjournal.com]
Anonymous Coward
User ID: 1807
United States
07/17/2006 11:37 AM
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Re: Record heatwave strikes - 120º degrees in South Dakota
COOL and cloudy here in the PNW.
Anonymous Coward
User ID: 118292
07/17/2006 11:38 AM
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Re: Record heatwave strikes - 120º degrees in South Dakota
Holy shit. Won't be long till powerlines melt, or power outages at least.